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Bars react to executive order to reopen bars with restrictions

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Posted at 10:50 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 23:50:54-04

TEXAS — Soon, some bars in the Lone Star State will be back open for business. Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to open bars and similar establishments next week at 50 percent capacity, in areas with low COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“I am optimistic that hopefully we’ll add more revenue and it will allow us to open up in a different capacity,” said Jokers IceHouse & Grill Bartender Daniel Donovan.

Daniel Donovan with Jokers Ice House & Grill said it’s good news, especially since they’ve lost money enduring restrictions throughout the pandemic.

“We were able to get our restaurant license and transition to that. Things have definitely been picking up over the last two months, but it’s till definitely slow and impacting the business's money as well as the employee money.”

John Crutchfield with the greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce Believes reopening bars won’t have a huge impact locally since several now have a restaurant license, but Wednesday’s decision is a step forward.

“I think the other positive part is we’re approaching having 100% of the economy open which as really god thing,” said Crutchfield.

Crutchfield also said many are concerned reopening bars will cause more people to catch the virus.

“If people don’t social distance in the bars we found find ourselves with an exploding caseload again and then have to step back and do some of this stuff all over again,” said Crutchfield.

According to the executive order, dance floors must remain closed and patrons cannot stand or sit at bars. They must be seated at tables of no more than six people. Donavon said a lot of bars already do all that.

“We have a course been maintaining social distancing throughout the bar/restaurant. We only allow certain table sizes in certain groups. We try to keep people out of walkways.”

The order includes other specifics: a county judge must sign off and the hospital rate for COVID needs to be below 15 percent.

October 14 is the day to watch. The governor's executive order also increases the occupancy levels for all other establishments other than bars to 75 percent.